Author Topic: Should Christians eat pork? Drink alcohol? Celebrate Christmas?  (Read 281 times)

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Offline Amos Ministries

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Should Christians eat pork? Drink alcohol? Celebrate Christmas?
« on: January 08, 2021, 07:58:11 PM »
Romans 14 addresses issues that divide many Christians. Issues such as should Christians eat pork? Should Christians drink alcohol? What day should the Sabbath be? Should Christians celebrate Christmas, Easter and other religious festivals? The Apostle Paul speaks directly to these issues in Romans 14 and he calls these matters disputable, personal opinions that are insignificant.

Romans 14:1 ? Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.

Other translations say:

New Living Translation ? Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don?t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.

English Standard Version ? As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.

Berean Study Bible ? Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on his opinions.

New King James Version ? Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.

Amplified Bible ? As for the one whose faith is weak, accept him [into your fellowship], but not for [the purpose of] quarreling over his opinions.

Contemporary English Version ? Welcome all the Lord?s followers, even those whose faith is weak. Don?t criticize them for having beliefs that are different from yours.

Good News Translation ? Welcome those who are weak in faith, but do not argue with them about their personal opinions.

Romans 14:2-3 One person?s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.

This addresses the issue of eating pork. Further in verses 14-20, Paul expands upon this by reinforcing the belief that all food is clean to eat.

Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge someone else?s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

We must not judge other Christians over these types of insignificant and disputable arguments. What one man does as an act of worship and sacrifice to God should not be criticized, even though we may not agree due to a stronger faith.

Romans 14:5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.

It is perfectly acceptable if some Christians wish to celebrate Christmas, Easter, Lent, etc. to honor God. This does not include the highly commercialized and temporary ?Christmas spirit? and ?Easter bunny? aspect. I am referring to the holy day itself. If some determine to observe the Sabbath on Saturday instead of Sunday, it is of no consequence. We should not be arguing with one another about our personal opinions regarding these matters.

Paul also refers to this in 1 Colossians 2:16 & 17 :

1 Colossians 2:16-17 ? Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

Romans 14:6-9 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

Romans 14:10-11 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God?s judgment seat. 11 It is written:

??As surely as I live,? says the Lord, ?every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.??

We are not meant to judge and argue with fellow believers over trivial matters such as food, alcohol, festivals and Sabbath days.

Romans 14:12-14 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. 13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.

If some Christians believe that eating pork is wrong, we should not judge them, and those who feel that eating pork is wrong, should not judge Christians who eat pork.

Romans 14:15-18 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

Romans 14:19-21 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.

For example, if a fellow believer does not believe Christians should drink alcohol, then alcohol should not be served when this believer is present.

Romans 14:22-23 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

In conclusion, we should not judge our fellow brothers/sisters in Christ concerning their beliefs on celebrating festivals, food, alcohol, dietary issues (the only matter that is not disputable regarding dietary issues is that as Christians, we are not permitted to eat meat with blood still in it, as it was reiterated by Paul, Peter and James regarding Gentiles), and lastly, what day the Sabbath should be observed.

Have you ever judged a fellow brother/sister in Christ for what they eat, drink or celebrate?
Pastor Amos

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Re: Should Christians eat pork? Drink alcohol? Celebrate Christmas?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2021, 08:51:38 AM »
Hi Amos
Thank you for a good post to which I agree

Love and Peace
Dave

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Re: Should Christians eat pork? Drink alcohol? Celebrate Christmas?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2021, 10:23:01 AM »
(a) ..... and lastly, what day the Sabbath should be observed.
I think Paul's injunction is rather wider than that. He is saying that for some, the Sabbath may not exist in its traditional form, as they are "a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ." Col 2:17.

Col 2:23 "These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh."

Sabbaths for Gentiles at least are self-imposed. That's not to say they are necessarily bad, or even optional where secular law is concerned (which laws generally govern the Sabbaths) but per se they may not be much good spiritually if the Sabbaths are given over to pagan recreation, or sport. That is the argument for having a common Sabbath day so that it may be given over to communal religious instruction etc.

Still, it's the duty of any government to ensure at least one day of rest a week for everyone by law otherwise health will suffer.

Have you ever judged a fellow brother/sister in Christ for what they eat, drink or celebrate?
Can't say I have.

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Re: Should Christians eat pork? Drink alcohol? Celebrate Christmas?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2021, 05:43:21 PM »
Hi, if God said you can eat pork or whatever animals you like, you must always remember that, if you don't pray before you eat it, your are eating a decease meal. Before you eat it God must clean it.

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Re: Should Christians eat pork? Drink alcohol? Celebrate Christmas?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2021, 05:52:03 PM »
I think Paul's injunction is rather wider than that. He is saying that for some, the Sabbath may not exist in its traditional form, as they are "a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ." Col 2:17.

Col 2:23 "These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh."

Sabbaths for Gentiles at least are self-imposed. That's not to say they are necessarily bad, or even optional where secular law is concerned (which laws generally govern the Sabbaths) but per se they may not be much good spiritually if the Sabbaths are given over to pagan recreation, or sport. That is the argument for having a common Sabbath day so that it may be given over to communal religious instruction etc.

Still, it's the duty of any government to ensure at least one day of rest a week for everyone by law otherwise health will suffer.
Can't say I have.

Keeping the sabbath day is one of the 10 Commandments so how can you say that it is not mandatory to keep the Sabbath day. Jesus came to fulfil the law not to abolish it. I don?t see anywhere where Jesus says not to keep the Sabbath as Jesus himself and all the disciples including Paul kept the Sabbath.

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Re: Should Christians eat pork? Drink alcohol? Celebrate Christmas?
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2021, 10:34:31 PM »
Keeping the sabbath day is one of the 10 Commandments so how can you say that it is not mandatory to keep the Sabbath day. Jesus came to fulfil the law not to abolish it. I don?t see anywhere where Jesus says not to keep the Sabbath as Jesus himself and all the disciples including Paul kept the Sabbath.
Check out Acts 15:1-20

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Re: Should Christians eat pork? Drink alcohol? Celebrate Christmas?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2021, 02:54:24 AM »
Check out Acts 15:1-20

I read it, but this is speaking about circumcision this scripture does not mean that Gentiles don?t have to follow any of the 10 commandments.
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Re: Should Christians eat pork? Drink alcohol? Celebrate Christmas?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2021, 01:17:37 PM »
I read it, but this is speaking about circumcision this scripture does not mean that Gentiles don?t have to follow any of the 10 commandments.
The gentiles living under the pagan Roman Empire would not have understood the Jewish Sabbath concept. Although there is some evidence that the day of the Sun, Sunday, was a special day for some Romans, it is unlikely their slaves would have been given any respite from their chores. That said, each religious group was entitled to practice their religion so Jews would have been able to observe their Sabbaths. A gentile Christian however couldn't claim to be a Jew. Any command to observe a Sabbath not constituted in Roman law as a day of rest could have led to persecution by the State. There couldn't possibly be any injunction from the apostles to gentiles to observe a Sabbath that law didn't provide for. It wasn't until Constantine that Sunday became a legal Sabbath for gentiles.

The goal of the Christian is to enter God's Sabbath rest:

Heb 4:9-11 "There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God?s rest also rests from their works,[fn] just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience."

The Sabbath of physical rest is now subordinate to the Sabbath of spiritual rest. It is why Jesus worked on the Sabbath, because God's spiritual Sabbath was more important that the observing the physical Sabbath.

The old Sabbath remains embedded in the laws of most countries, but is gradually being eroded in irreligious political societies like Britain. The Jewish Sabbath was specific to justification under the Jewish law. There is no justification in observing a Sabbath that your faith doesn't require you to observe. As you have said, each to their own.

The ten commandments are in this day as much an injunction to legislators as to citizens. I would see the Sabbath commandment as an injunction on legislators to provide for a legal sabbath day of rest once a week but not go so far as to impose a direct command on anyone to obey the Sabbath commandment separately from whatever the law of the land demands.



 

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